Inside one of UK's most neglected streets

Inside one of UK’s most neglected streets: Riddled with giant potholes, plagued by crime and littered with fly-tipping, the Birmingham road locals say is like scene from post-apocalyptic TV drama ‘The Last of Us’

    Photographs reveal life on one of ‘Britain’s most neglected streets’ – which is plagued by gang-related graffiti, giant potholes, fly-tipped rubbish and burnt-out cars.

    Residents living near Crawford Street, in Saltley, Birmingham, say the dilapidated road is more like a ‘ghetto’ or a ‘scene from The Last of Us’.

    The notorious street is riddled with ‘crater-like’ potholes – leaving most of it covered in mud – hundreds of items of rubbish and the charred remains of burned vehicles.

    Locals say the road has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair by Birmingham City Council to the point it now resembles a ‘Third World slum’.

    A burnt-out car has been abandoned on the street, which some believe is ‘Britain’s most neglected’

    A giant pothole on Crawford Street, inner-city Birmingham

    More rubbish including a mattress and unwanted furniture has been dumped 

    Local campaigners say it is the worst in Birmingham but neighbours believe it could be ‘Britain’s most neglected street’

    Community activists have branded the road as the worst in Birmingham but neighbours believe it could be ‘Britain’s most neglected street’.

    Photographs show the drastic state of the lane which is lined with mountains of household waste, wrecked shells of cars and 10ft wide water-filled potholes.

    On the side of one house is spray-painted the image of a knife with the words: ‘Kill a snake, enemies get shot up fool.’

    Wahid Khan 33, lives on the next street along and says the road is a hotspot for fly-tipping, drug-taking and other criminal behaviour.

    The dad-of-one said: ‘Honestly, you would not believe this place. It reminds me of the post apocalyptic scenes from The Last of Us.

    A car with a smashed back window on Crawford Street, Birmingham

    Broken glass bottles have been dumped on the street. which locals say it plagued with anti-social behaviour and crime

    ‘There’s burnt out cars everywhere, litter as far as you can see – massive fly-tipped items constantly dumped, graffiti, the lot.

    ‘It’s makes this city look exactly like its stereotype it has been trying so hard to shake. Yet here we on in modern Britain living next to a Third World slum.

    ‘I saw it described as the most neglected street in the city but I’d go one step further than that and say it’s the most neglected street anywhere in the country.

    ‘All you have to do is walk down it and you’ll see why. It’s disgraceful really. The council have had years to act and it just gets repeatedly overlooked.’

    Cars have smashed windows on the neglected road

    A burnt-out car on Crawford Street, Birmingham

    Another local, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It’s more like a Compton LA ghetto around here now.

    ‘The worst part is that next door they are working on the swanky new HS2 train line and road sweepers go along there but not here.

    ‘The place is disgusting and I’m embarrassed to say it’s near my home. It’s a no go area at night. The police are nowhere to be seen either.

    ‘People are openly doing drugs, drinking along the street – it’s become a magnet for fly-tipping. Crooks act like they are untouchable.’

    The cracked and crumbling street is home to just one solitary house but a number of businesses are based along the 0.2 mile stretch.

    The dilapidated street is notorious for being riddled with potholes, fly-tipped rubbish  

    Local business owner Tahir said: ‘I’ve been here 25 years and its always been bad’

    Plastic including food packaging and bags have been dumped on Crawford Street

    The street has become a hotspot for fly-tipping and mounds of rubbish have piled up on the road

    Crawford Street in inner-city Birmingham has been dubbed one of ‘Britain’s most neglected streets’

    A burnt-out car has been gutted of its interior and abandoned on the road

    A nearby business owner, who would only give his name as Mr Hussain, 45, who runs an auto parts firm said: ‘The council have neglected the road so badly.

    ‘It influences people to cause criminal activity such as fly tipping, take drugs and we’ve had five cars burnt out here in the last month alone.

    ‘We get 18 tonne trucks here, it’s a busy road and yet nothing gets done.’

    Another car parts business owner, who would only give his first name, Tahir, aged 40, added: ‘I’ve been here 25 years and its always been bad.

    ‘I’ve seen people having sex inside cars, people doing balloons and the council has neglected this road completely.

    ‘They used to have cameras around here but I guess it cost them too much money so the problems have only got worse.’

    Threatening graffiti has been scrawled on walls in Crawford Street, inner-city Birmingham

    The road has rubbish and debris strewn across it 

    Locals have blasted the council for allowing the road to fall into a state of disrepair

    Mounds of rubbish including plastic packaging and unwanted furniture has been dumped on Crawford Street

    Rubbish has been tipped into the street including old children’s toys and furniture

    Complaints have been made to Birmingham City Council since 2018 about the streets conditions but locals say nothing has changed so far.

    Community activist Gerry Moynihan, 50, said he first contacted the local authority five years ago about the condition of the road.

    He said: ‘Since then, the minor potholes have turned into major ones and the pavement has disappeared as it is covered in fly tipping.

    ‘The council have been neglecting the street since 2018. It is often used by residents as a short cut into the city centre.

    ‘I think the council believe it will cost a lot of money to fix and so they are just ignoring the problem.

    Locals have made complaints to the council running as far back as 2018 over the state of Crawford Street

    A burst tyre of a run-down car on the street, dubbed one of ‘Britain’s most neglected’

    An abandoned car has fallen into disrepair on the inner-city Birmingham street

    ‘I would estimate it would cost the council around £600,000 to fix the street up as it is an old Victorian road and would need completely rebuilding.

    ‘The potholes are hardly potholes but more like craters. They are a foot deep, 10-foot wide and are crater-like especially when they are filled with water.

    ‘It becomes a mud bath as you go along the road and there is so much fly tipping.

    ‘I think the people who live nearby have become immune to reporting it because nothing is being done.

    ‘I have complained for years about it but the council seemed to ignore it.

    ‘It’s sad because it is supposed to be an area of regeneration, but nothing is being done.’

    The inside of an abandoned car which has been gutted and left to rust

    The canal near Crawford Street in Birmingham

    Gang-related graffiti has been scrawled over walls on the street

    Recently, nearby land was bought by HS2 and the road conditions are said to have become worse as heavy-duty vehicles use the street to access the HS2 site.

    Gerry added: ‘I think the council sometimes think HS2 will do something about it but that won’t be finished until 2037 and we cannot wait until then for a solution.

    ‘The area is known for fires to break out and when these cars are set on fire it causes pollution and these areas suffer.

    ‘There are primary schools nearby and when one of those scrap yards goes up in flames, the pollution and health hazards it causes to the people living nearby is awful.

    Debris is strewn across the street

    A general view of Crawford Street, Birmingham

    More rubbish including a mattress and unwanted furniture has been dumped

    Locals have hit out at the conditions on the street

    ‘There is also a waste transfer unit at the end of the road and the stench and dust this causes in the summer is another severe health hazard.

    ‘All the issues need sorting, and the council are doing nothing and neglecting it. Is this the Birmingham we really want the world to see?’

    Tory councillor for Erdington Robert Alden said: ‘While Labour-run Birmingham is once again spending millions on resurfacing the city centre, suburban areas like this are left with burnout cars and pothole ridden streets.

    ‘This is totally unacceptable. Residents and businesses bear the cost of this and deserve better.’

    Birmingham City Council has been contacted for comment. 

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